Though still far below the number of brewers in the U.S., the U.K.’s growth is more impressive when broken down per capita.
In 2017, America has likely crossed the 6,000 brewery threshold: Pretty impressive growth for a country that had half that number as recently as the start of 2014, and a mere 100 breweries in 1985. But new data from the United Kingdom may somehow be even more impressive: This year, the country of under 66 million crossed the 2,000 brewery mark—the first time the U.K. has had that many breweries since the 1930s.
The fact that America’s craft beer boom has also spawned renewed interest in beer across the pond is no secret, but since the countries are so different in population and size, simple brewery numbers can be difficult to put in perspective. According to a recent report from the accounting firm UHY Hacker Young, over 300 new breweries were opened in the U.K., increasing the total number in the country by 18 percent; and, in the past five years, the number of breweries has increased 64 percent. Meanwhile, though America has seen its brewery count more than double since 2012, looking at last year alone, the U.K. just slightly outpaced the U.S.
However, not that you need a reminder how much bigger the U.S. is than the U.K., but when taking population and size into account, the U.K. now has a brewery for about every 33,000 people compared to the U.S. where there’s only a brewery for about every 54,000. And where in the U.S., on average you can find a brewery for every 633 square miles, in the U.K., there’s a brewery for every 47 square miles—meaning if you have to travel more than an hour or so to find a brewery, you really should find your way back to civilization!
Additionally, similar to the meteoric rise in brewery numbers the U.S. has seen, UHY Hacker Young’s report also predicts that the number in the U.K. will keep trending upward. “The craft beer boom has reversed around 70 years of consolidation in the brewing industry and there is plenty of growth still to come,” James Simmonds, a partner at the firm said.